Guest Article By: Jerome Cheng
With a brand as prominent as Jordan, you would think opening only the second brand store in North America would be all that is needed to create a proper buzz in the city. Just might be, but with Nike and Jordan, you know they’re coming correct on the launch.
Let’s start with a bit about me so you know where I’m coming from. My name is Jerome Cheng. I’m a self diagnosed shoe addict. My particular drug of choice is, in fact, Jordan. Opening a brand store in my city is an event, but how do you create the excitement I have in someone who is not a diehard fan?
Here is how Jordan did it right:
We already knew what it might feel like. During the 2016 NBA All Star game, hosted here in Toronto, we got a taste of how Jordan brand would exist north of the border with a temporary pop up opened through the weekend. When it was all said and done, we were promised a permanent location to be opened at a time TBD. For nearly a year and a half, 306 Yonge was a tease of interchanging posters and building anticipation.
The official open of the 306 Yonge Jordan store was Saturday, May 27th at 6:23am. The week leading in was dedicated to building excitement for what was to come. Through that week, various Toronto influencers were invited group by group to experience 306 Yonge ahead of launch. What’s the benefit of this? This way, Jordan brand doesn’t need any promotional material to tell you how great they are. Instead, for a full week before launch, every important Toronto person you know and are following on social is sharing with you why this store is big for brand and the city.
I am no Toronto influencer. But, I have the fortunate privilege of knowing some who brought me along to document their visit to the store. The full experience created by Jordan brand puts you as close to the feeling of being a Jordan athlete without the actual training, physical ability or talent. You start with a tour of the retail space and history of the brand. Immediately you understand how important Jordan has been to sports culture and why having the store in this city is so monumental. Then, you get brought up to Centre 23, the private training facility complete with decked out locker room, personalized gear for our visiting guests and a personal training session. First you get introduced to the gear, then you get to try it first hand. By the end, you feel like a member of the Jordan family and quite frankly, inclined to invest in their brand.
I know I’m coming from a biased spot when I say Jordan just nails it when it comes to brand and experience. Does not take a lot from them to hook me in. But the general steps of building intrigue for your launch, enlisting the city’s best influencers to promote it and providing a top level experience in your store is something every brand should aim to do.
Jerome Cheng is a freelance videographer and associate producer at Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment. He just finished the Multimedia Design and Development program at Humber College. When he’s not trying to create silly videos for the interwebs, he’s engaged in an ongoing search for his next pair of shoes, playing and watching basketball or finding content on the aforementioned interwebs. Connect with Jerome through LinkedIn or Instagram